May Gnon have a fortunate 2016 lined up for all you wretched sinners.
2015 has been intense, and deserves some considered retrospection here — but no way is it getting that now.
Feel free to stick succinct summaries of 2015 and short-term confident predictions / prophecies for 2016 here, if so inclined. You can be held to them later.
See everyone next year.
December 31, 2015admin
FILED UNDER :Review
TAGGED WITH :Time
David Frum does a good job at explaining why the new populist upsurge isn’t an intrinsically rightist phenomenon:
They aren’t necessarily superconservative. They often don’t think in ideological terms at all. But they do strongly feel that life in this country used to be better for people like them—and they want that older country back.
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Be ready for the predicted planetary alignment, doomsday, the Rapture, the end times, or Armageddon. If you believe in the prophecies and predictions of the Bible, Nostradamus, the Third Secret of Fatima, the visions of Edgar Cayce, and all of the current signs of an economic collapse, future nuclear war, WW3, a pandemic, an EMP power outage, a Yellowstone eruption, a potential asteroid collision, Nibiru, Planet X, Fukushima’s eventual meltdown and widespread global radiation, the coming pole shift and/or major earth changes, it is time to prepare!
(Ultimate smoking vacant chaos version.)
Might groggily try to poke some bits and pieces in here later …
On copying. Correction.
One man who understood the power of “Salafi jihadism” was Saddam Hussein, who according to Kyle Orton, writing in the New York Times, understood long before Obama that secular socialism was no match for a full-bore jihadism which had endured the test of centuries. “The Arab nationalist Baath Party, which seized power in 1968 in a coup in which Mr. Hussein played a key role, had a firmly secular outlook. This held through the 1970s, even as religiosity rose among the Iraqi people. But soon after Mr. Hussein invaded Iran in 1980, it began to change.”
To compensate for his shortcomings in governance, Saddam covered himself with the Koran. He also tried what Obama later attempted, an alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood, with disastrous results. Rather than beating Islam, the Baath began to be absorbed by it. “In 1986, however, the Pan-Arab Command, the Baath Party’s top ideological institution, formally reoriented Iraq’s foreign policy toward an alliance with Islamists. This was the first clear deviation from secular Baathism.”
The causal pathways in this area are easily obscured by ideological preferences.
Spare a thought for the numinous, the thing-in-itself, and the Great Filter tomorrow. If they all flow together, you can always have another drink.
(I’d say something nice, but that would trash the brand.)
Yuletide comedy supplement:
The four core elements of Obama’s Syria policy remain intact today: an insistence that Assad must go; that no anti-IS coalition with Russia is possible; that Turkey is a steadfast ally in the war against terrorism; and that there really are significant moderate opposition forces for the US to support.
(The entire essay is a valuable American Proxy Civil-War primer.)
At Vox (some Yule cheer):
Political scientists have long known that “government legitimacy,” or the popularity of particular administrations, is going down. But many of them have argued that “regime legitimacy,” or citizens’ attachment to democracy as a political system, is as strong as ever. Our research shows that this is just not true: Attachment to democracy has fallen over time, and from one generation to the next. … For Americans born in the 1930s, living in a democracy holds virtually sacred importance. Asked on a scale of 1 to 10 how important it is to them to live in a democracy, more than 70 percent give the highest answer. But many of their children and grandchildren are lukewarm. Among millennials — those born since the 1980s — fewer than 30 percent say that living in a democracy is essential.
ADDED: Let’s change the subject — “Perhaps the time has come for us all to ask how much we really value democracy, and to start discussing how much more expressive and responsive it could be in this technological age. Change is coming. The big question now is how good we are going to be at shaping the sorts of change that can renew democracy instead of stunting and blunting it.” The faster ruin is brought to the only societies on Earth with some prospect of supporting democracy, the more of these kind of diversionary conversations we can expect.
(Open thread + sparse links) — Hazy edition
Weimerica weekly (1, 2, 3 …) Prophetic elites. The weekly round.
What money is made of.
Trumpenführer panic update (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). Citadel on Trump. The Trump rabbit hole.
Islam’s Protestant future? Lethal piety. “The message I took from the novel Submission is that it is already too late. Western civilization has lost its core beliefs, and its will to survive. It is over. Fact or fiction? I think we are about to find out.” Waiting for God-0. Random news points (1, 2).
Pinker’s questionable bet.
Graphic PKD religious chaos. Age of CRISPR. Art and compression.
The Go challenge. Synth-bio in space. Behind the face of facebook.
John Conway interviewed (pdf). Groups.